Pito Mosimane warns Safa to get junior national teams in order

Pitso Mosimane, Coach of Mamelodi Sundowns FC during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 game between AmaZulu and Mamelodi Sundowns at King Zwelentini Stadium on 15 September 2018.
Pitso Mosimane, Coach of Mamelodi Sundowns FC during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 game between AmaZulu and Mamelodi Sundowns at King Zwelentini Stadium on 15 September 2018.
Image: ©Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has urged the South African Football Association (Safa) to get their house in order and prioritise the junior national teams or run the risk of falling too far behind other countries on the continent.

Mosimane‚ who was in Morocco last week to attend a session of his Caf Pro License coaching course‚ questioned why Safa only appointed SA Under-23 coach David Notoane on Tuesday with start of the Olympic qualifiers less than three weeks away.

The SA Olympic team begin their journey for Tokyo 2020 with an Africa U-23 Cup of Nations (Afcon) first-round qualifier against Angola on Friday‚ March 22‚ away from home‚ with the return leg on Tuesday‚ March 26.

“When you have time‚ go to Morocco‚ and trust me there is a big force coming in Africa‚” former Bafana Bafana coach Mosimane said.

“You must go there and see what they are doing with their junior structures‚ it is unbelievable. Somehow and somewhere we must clean our house a little bit.”

Mosimane said the Moroccan U-23 team have been training together in camps for a long time and playing friendly matches to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers‚ while the South Africans have not played a competitive match in three years.

“They are serious and they are still going to give us problems. They will continue to qualify for the World Cup because of the investment they are doing in terms of pitches‚ hotels and other related stuff. Sometimes I see those things they are doing and I feel sad.”

“I was on the same flight with the Morocco U-23 assistant-coach from Amsterdam to Casablanca. They are training now live on television and we haven’t put together a team yet.

“I am being serious – they are training as we speak and their U-17s are going to play in another tournament. Sometimes they give me their U-17 players during our coaching practice and I see the talent they have.

“They are together and I ask myself do we have an U-17 like them somewhere. I don’t think we can say PSL matches will disturb their programmes if we put them in place.”

However‚ Mosimane welcomed the appointment of Notoane‚ who has been released from coaching Sundowns’ reserve team to join the U23s.

“David Notoane deserves it and he has been there with the U-23s before – it is not for the first time‚” Sundowns’ coach said.

“He has been in and out there‚ and he is a sober-minded coach who knows what he is doing.

“He is not going to mess it up and only take Sundowns players. He is not going to do that because he understands that this is an important job that needs to be done properly.”

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